Heading to Iceland with an infant
January 21, 2013 5:06 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I are thinking of heading to Iceland for our summer vacation. This year will be a little different as we will be traveling with our 14month old. Since are on the East Coast the flight to Iceland is reasonably quick and Iceland is quicker than some domestic locations We hope to rent a house in the south eastern part of Iceland in late May or early June. We will use the house as our base and do some small day trips from there. Our only goal for the vacation is to enjoy the scenery and see a few things. We are going to travel light and purchase most food and diapers there. Any hints, tips, and tricks traveling to Iceland with an infant. What can we expect in terms of availability of conventional baby foods and diapers? Anything else we should know?
posted by burlsube to Travel & Transportation around Iceland (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
If you're drinkers at all know that Iceland has insanely high alcohol tariffs. Gas too.
posted by The Whelk at 5:14 PM on January 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also you may want to base yourself out of the capitol, it has a much more small town feeling despite being the biggest settlement ( and still pretty small considering) and youll have access to more tours, buses, etc not to mention like, convience stores that stay open later.
posted by The Whelk at 5:17 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]

Despite very high prices and taxes on booze, it's what there is to do. There's darn few sights to see. People are great, but bring some thick paperbacks.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:02 PM on January 21, 2013

Just a thought, but you may want to check out Baby Led Weaning. It means you won't need to worry about finding conventional baby food on travels. You child basically eats what you eat, perhaps cut up into bite sized pieces. It has certainly made traveling with my 11 month old much easier.
posted by HMSSM at 7:38 PM on January 21, 2013 [3 favorites]

Names for the Sea is charming book written by a British professor who takes a year-long teaching job in Iceland with her spouse and several very young kids. She talks about temperatures (it never really seems to get warm, as much as it does "not cold"), food availability, which grocery stores have what kind of stuff, playground norms etc... Good luck, sounds like fun!
posted by jrobin276 at 12:46 AM on January 22, 2013

Ditto what HMSSM said.

The last time I was in Iceland it was before my daughter was born, but I do recall seeing a reasonable selection of jarred baby food at the supermarkets. As with everything else in Iceland, it's almost all imported and I expect will be expensive. I also saw people with babies pretty much everywhere, and acceptance / facilities seemed to be glad and omnipresent.
posted by 1adam12 at 5:55 AM on January 22, 2013

You ought to bring your own water at least if not also bring food in a check in luggage. You don't want the baby to get sick. It was suggested to me by a travel agent. It was smart. My brother didn't do it and his baby was sick for their whole trip overseas and I did and had no troubles with my daughter when we visited the same region.

TSA are very forgiving when you have food and drink for your baby, so bring lots of that on the plane for the baby. Be sure to let them know it is all for the baby.

Enjoy your trip!!
posted by Yellow at 6:48 AM on January 22, 2013

Iceland is a remarkably beautiful place. I personally would not recommend having a home base in Iceland but rather driving around on a whim (ideally the whole ring road, and the west fjords) if you can. It is truly incredibly how the scenery can entirely change in just 30 minutes of driving. You can rent an RV to do this. Not having a baby myself, I have no idea whether this is an insane suggestion or not.

I found the water in Iceland to be remarkably clean. Never heard of anyone getting sick there.

If you two do want to drink, I would suggest buying alcohol at the duty free in the airport immediately after landing there. Otherwise it will be incredibly expensive. Food, too, is incredibly expensive in Iceland. Your best bet is going to the grocery store. Also, you can get cheap(er) decent food at gas stations. Most gas stations include a fry/grill bar. Even at these places, the fried fish is delicious and usually not pre-frozen.

It doesn't really get dark in Iceland during the summer. If this is a problem for your baby being asleep, you might want to figure something out in advance. Some sort of crib cover? Can babies sleep with eye masks? You might want to bring some eye masks for yourselves as well.
posted by corn_bread at 3:43 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Late May and early June in Iceland are still cold. Remember to bring lots of layers for the little one. You may encounter snow, depending on where you go.

I agree that renting a house in southeast would be lonely, and you'd miss the chance to see most of Iceland. I'd arrange with a travel agent in Reykjavik a circle tour, by which I mean rent a car and have the agent make accommodations reservations for you. There are many farms in Iceland where you can stay, and this is a wonderful experience. These typically include a big farm breakfast, and sometimes dinner the night before, and it's a great way to travel.

Icelanders love children, and they'll probably be more friendly to your child than to you. They're rather insular, socially. Having a child might open doors for you.
posted by Capri at 6:49 AM on January 23, 2013

Another Iceland travel topic I missed...

I heartily recommend doing something like the ring road (which my partner and I did last August). A good booking service, like http://www.farmholidays.is/, can set you up with a nice itinerary, staying at a combination of small inns and farmhouses.

It is an outstandingly beautiful, if unusual, country. Check out my pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaszeta/sets/72157631244017386
posted by kaszeta at 5:25 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

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